* By Ambassador Florea Dumitrescu, President of the Romanian Association of Friendship with the People’s Republic of China & Ileana (Yang Ling) Hogea Veliscu, University Professor, Member of the Directorial Board of the Romanian Association of Friendship with the People’s Republic of China.
66 years after the Proclamation of the People’s Republic of China, the grand Chinese nation is so proud of the progress achieved through economical and social development in all fields of life. Remarkable achievements were registered especially during the last three decades in applying reform and openness policies, in building specific Chinese socialism, a society of decent welfare.
Throughout this period, China has achieved the highest increase rhythm in modern history for such a long time, an annual average of over 9 per cent, compared to the 6 per cent average of the years 1953 – 1978 and to the world growth rate of 3 per cent. The amount of the gross domestic product for 2014 places the Popular Republic of China on the second place in the world. A few analysts see China in a few years on the highest position in the world; more pessimistic ones follow China’s economical growth since 2014 and in the first semester of 2015, of approximately 7 per cent, as well as the falls of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, hurried to announce the end of the Chinese miracle, refusing to take into account the effects of the recent crisis, that makes the European Union struggle with an increase of over one per cent, the USA and Japan with 2 per cent respectively, as well as China’s capacity to overcome the issues it is confronted with.
The industrial production in China reached approximately 7 per cent by the end of the year 2014, and in agriculture, the production of grains registered the highest level in history, respectively over 600 million tons last year, compared to about 250 million tons before elaborating and introducing the politics of reform and openness.
Achieving record productions in industry, agriculture and other fields in the last few decades made it possible that the sales of goods towards the population would increase with approximately 12 per cent in the year 2014, compared to the previous year.
A huge record was achieved by China in the last three decades in reducing poverty, according to recent data, in approximately 600 million persons, as some of them filled the workplaces created by China by modernizing the industry of constructions, agriculture and other fields.
Moreover, the volume of exports in China became the biggest in the world, exceeding by far the exports of the United States of America, the second greatest exporter on the planet. At the same time, China became in 2014 the greatest oil importer in the world (6.1 million barrels daily), topping the USA (5.1 million barrels daily), an import that supports the overall development of the country.
China’s foreign currency reserves increased, amounting to almost USD 4,000 billion, the highest reserves owned by a state. China uses these reserves to fund commercial deficit in its relations to the USA, of USD 360 billion in 2014, certain partnership with African states as well as countries on other continents.
All of these achievements are the results of efforts made from the level of national leaders to that of enterprises and families that applied day by day the politics of reform and openness.
The great merit of the Chinese nation is that they knew how to elect competent and devoted leaders, and the merit of leaders is that they knew how to propose adequate leaders at various levels, who would be able to apply established policies. By example, after defining politics and starting to apply them, China endured economical and financial block due to a few companies that continued to work inefficiently, and national leaders replaced the Governor of the People’s Bank, Ms. Cen Muhua, with the Vice-President of the Government, Zhu Rangji, who mastered much better the mechanisms of crediting, financing and management of the companies. China din not allow the Central Bank Governor to keep her position for twenty years, hoping that she would learn in the meantime things she was not familiar with.
Another merit of Chinese leaders was that they knew, while seeking the truth, to distinguish the good from the bad in researching the experience gained by various states in leading their economies, and to apply the things that fitted China’s conditions.
“Romanian experiences”, says a Chinese economist , “have contributed to the promotion of Chinese economical development and to the initiative of reform and openness towards abroad, and helped to a new historical change that started in the year 1987. Also, Beijing has learned a lot from the evolution of Romanian economy, which played a certain role in the process of reform and openness towards outside.”
During my term as an Ambassador, I was honoured to meet, then and afterwards, after the mission ended, seven Presidents of China and each of them impressed me by their concern to find ways to reduce China’s delay in development and to position their country on the route of progress and prosperity.
At the meetings I had attended as an Ambassadors, various aspects of Romanian experience were approached at the request of Chinese leaders, as well as new possibilities to enlarge commercial trades and bilateral economical cooperation.
Acting in such manner, in the year 1980, the bilateral trade of Romania and China has reached a total amount of imports and exports of over USD 1 billion, the highest level ever achieved in the history of the two countries. At that time, Romania owned 5 per cent of China’s total foreign trade, while Romania was registering at that time a balanced share of exports and imports, of over USD one billion. China’s amount of imports and exports with the USSR reached around USD 70 million and the trade with the USA amounted to approximately USD 400 million. 36 years later, economical relations with the USA had totalized over USD 400 billion, and those with Russia, about USD 70 million, while relations with Romania had decreased to under one per cent of China’s foreign trade, with a terrible lack of balance (70 – 80 per cent.)
The decrease in bilateral relations was mostly caused by Romanian leaders and authorities. The Romanian Association of Friendship with the Popular Republic of China has had a few initiatives dedicated to the development of economical cooperation, yet politics seems to play the ultimate role. Politicians seem to have different concerns, that have nothing to do with the advice of economists and Romanian specialists, choosing to treat this economical relation with indifference.
As for China, that has achieved in the last 36 years a genuine miracle of development and modernization and, at present, it is confronted with certain economical and financial difficulties. Each country, big or small, has to solve certain issues related to its social and economical development. Especially after the recent world crisis, the entire planet is adrift. Few countries, including China, have managed to take major steps on the path to progress, even if a few international analysts see things through their sunglasses, which causes them confusion.
Personally, I think that our planet has many enlightened minds who can contribute to finding a model of social economy on the market, based on mixed property and a balance between the state and the market, that would improve the increase of investment and innovation, to replace the Neo-Liberalism that had led to poverty about half of the world’s population and to allow the usage to highest extent of workforce, to avoid crises and the major inequality and injustice in the world.